Red Sleeping Beauty - Stockholm - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Red Sleeping Beauty - Stockholm

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2019-04-12
Red Sleeping Beauty - Stockholm
Red Sleeping Beauty - Stockholm

Swedish dance masters approach their 30th anniversary with a fourth album that doesn’t so much wear their ‘80s influences on their sleeves as have them tattooed there permanently! This is also the first full album since singer Kristina Borg recovered from a cancer scare that led to limited involvement in their brilliant previous effort, Kristina, obviously dedicated to her and her recovery. Now that the trio (Borg, Niklas Angergård, and Mikael Matsson) is back in full force (and health) this may be their best album yet. It’s certainly one of the best we’ve heard in 2019. The synth-heavy album ticks all the right boxes (particularly if you are a student of 80s synth pop), with opener ‘We Are Magic’ (an infectious, Kraftwerk-styled dancefloor f/killer with hints of Cher’s ‘Do You Believe’ throughout the chorus scoring bonus points) serving as a statement of purpose and a resilient theme throughout the ten tracks.

‘Always On Your Side’ will have you racing for your OMD albums to spot the immediate influence (with ‘Top Love’ an easier and more obvious spot-the-influence challenge for Yazoo completists) while Borg’s gorgeous, sexy breathy vocals make the heart pump just a little faster throughout ‘Tonight’. ‘New York City Girls’ was made for Studio 54 frivolity and sports a bitchin’ robotic vocal nod to Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’.

‘Tell Me Lies’ is pure bliss in the style of The Yearning, complete with unforgettable 60s-styled harmonies, and the eponymous band track ‘Red Sleeping Beauty’ may make you forget McCarthy’s original source track, even if Laetitia Sadier had arrived in time to lend her vocal talents! The fun continues with the St. Etienne-inspired floor-filler ‘The Swedish Winter’, and wraps as the spirit of the Pet Shop Boys pop in for finale ‘Don’t Cry For Me, California’.

So if OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Visage, Yaz[oo], St Etienne, are on your dance card, drop everything and pick this up immediately. Your dancing shoes, spandex slacks, and puffy shirts will be glad you did!

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